Fritz Polack

Fritz Polack
Born 22 October 1892
Died 6 April 1956(1956-04-06) (aged 63)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Army
Years of service 1911–20
Rank Generalleutnant
Commands held 29. Panzergrenadier Division
Battles/wars World War I

World War II

Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
See Friedrich Polack for the educationist.

Fritz Polack (22 October 1892 – 6 April 1956) was a highly decorated Generalleutnant in the Wehrmacht during World War II. He was also a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. General Polack surrendered to the US 85th Infantry Division at La Stanga, Italy, near Belluno.


He served in the Saxon Fußartillerie-Regiment Nr. 10 from 1911, promoted to lieutenant in 1912 and to the first lieutenant in 1916. He was discharged in 1920 and studied political economy at Erfurt University, completing a doctorate (Dr. rer. pol.). He re-joined the army as a captain in 1934, serving in Artillerie-Regiment 29, promoted to major in 1937.

In 1938 he became commander of the third division of Artillerie-Regiment 29 in Kassel, participating in the invasion of Poland in the summer of 1939. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1940, serving as commander of Artillerie-Lehr-Regiment 2 . Promoted to colonel in 1942, he commanded Panzer-Artillerie-Regiment 140, active in the southern part of the eastern front. He retired from command in December 1942 but was reactivated in March 1943 as commander of Artillerie-Regiment (motorisiert) 29 as part of the "Italy Group". For his service in Sicily he was decorated with the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross in 1943.

He was promoted to major general in 1944, commanding 29. Panzer-Grenadier-Division , and finally promoted to lieutenant general on 15 March 1945. He was nominated to receive the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, the award was announced and confirmed by OB 10th Armee under the command of General der Panzertruppe Traugott Herr, who stated that he received approval to make the award after a telephone inquiry to HPA Traunstein. Polack received his Oak Leaves on 30 April 1945.[1]

He was a POW until he was released in October 1947. He resumed his career as a professor in political science and died from a stroke while visiting England in 1956.

War crimes

In the final days of the war, on 29 April 1945, the 29th Panzergrenadier Division, commanded by Polack, was involved in the San Martino di Lupari massacre, where it used Italian civilians as human shields against partisan attacks and eventually executed 125 hostages. The Military Prosecutor of Padua investigated the massacre an Polack's involvement in 1960 and, again, in 1995.[2]

Awards and decorations



  1. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, pp. 108–109.
  2. ^ "San Martino di Lupari, 29.4.1945". Atlas of Nazi and Fascist Massacres in Italy (in Italian). Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e Thomas 1998, p. 165.
  4. ^ Fellgiebel 2000, p. 279.


  • Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000) [1986]. Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 — Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
  • Signal Corps photo No. 392351, dated 5 May 1945. National Archives Library, College Park, MD: US Army Records.
  • Operational Report of 337th Infantry Regiment, May 1945. National Archives Library, College Park, MD: US Army Records.
  • Thomas, Franz (1998). Die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 2: L–Z [The Oak Leaves Bearers 1939–1945 Volume 2: L–Z] (in German). Osnabrück, Germany: Biblio-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7648-2300-9.
Military offices
Preceded by
General der Panzertruppe Walter Fries
Commander of 29. Panzergrenadier Division
24 August 1944 – 24 April 1945
Succeeded by